A New York school bus driver will serve no jail time for raping a 14-year-old student who was a passenger on his bus, The New York Post is reporting.
Shane Piche, 25, will serve no time behind bars for the 2017 crime. He will, however, have to register as a Level One sex offender and be on probation for 10 years.
On September 5, 2018, as WWNY-TV reported at the time, Piche was arrested for the assault, which had taken place the previous year. It remains unclear, as of this writing, when the assault took place or how it was brought to the attention of the authorities.
The victim’s mother says that she (the victim) was a passenger on Piche’s school bus route. Authorities said that Piche had been acting inappropriately toward the victim and to other children on his route, including taking them to his home and giving them alcohol. Additionally, Piche had been giving gifts to the victim.
At some point, the victim was taken to Piche’s home, where he raped her.
Initially, he was charged with second-degree rape, first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child, and endangering the welfare of a child.
In February as The Watertown Daily Times reported, he entered a guilty plea to third-degree rape as part of a plea deal.
Forget the incendiary heading and focus on this: JUDGE JAMES P MCCLUSKY said the lesser level was more appropriate since there was only one victim and Piche had no prior arrests.— Misty M. Richmond (@Richmomm) April 29, 2019
Let me repeat: JUDGE JAMES P MCCLUSKY in Watertown NY. https://t.co/mkUdQm2zCp
In issuing his sentence, Judge James P. McClusky stated that he didn’t believe Piche deserved prison time because this was his first criminal offense and because there was only one victim.
The victim’s mother was not pleased.
“I wish Shane Piche would have received time in jail for the harm he caused to my child. He took something from my daughter she will never get back and has caused her to struggle with depression and anxiety.”
Piche’s defense attorney Eric Swartz, however, says via Yahoo News that his client will most definitely be punished for his crimes, simply by having to register as a sex offender.
“He’s on the sex offender registry for a long time. Maybe not the rest of his life because of the level but this isn’t something that didn’t cause him pain and this isn’t something that didn’t have consequences.”
Meanwhile, McClusky is taking heat for giving Piche such a seemingly-light sentence. An online petition demanding that McClusky be recalled has gathered nearly 10,000 signatures, as of this writing. It bears noting that online petitions carry no legal weight, and even if the petition receives tens of millions of signatures, there is no requirement that it be acted upon.